Today I'm adding a new feature I call Guest Blog. It's an effort to allow others to take over the virtual mic (not Mike) and deliver a message to the community I'm working to be a part of. The inaugural post comes from my good friend Eric of Multi Media Information. He's played an important role in the development of my livelife365.com website: editing text, helping me with research, creating and refining digital imagery, writing and tweaking code — tweaking just about everything, or at least wanting to. He's not an altogether bad sort, so I'm giving him the floor for a few minutes.
Our Issue This Sunday: Bye Tim
"Did ya hear the news? Tim Russert died." I was shocked. "You're kidding. You're serious?"
Like so much — too much — that is valuable, even irreplaceable, in life, I took Tim Russert for granted. Now I can appreciate that when I went to bed Saturday nights, I typically had one overriding concern: would I be able to arrange my Sunday morning schedule to allow me to watch Meet the Press on the local NBC affiliate? In recent years, there was a replay available on cable, and transcripts and podcasts online. But I was often thirsty for the event, sometimes very much so. I didn't want to let a day or even an hour go by without having the interviews Russert delivered as part of my information package, the material I could use to understand what was going on in the world, anticipate what others would be thinking, and promote my political views.
Barrack Obama appeared on the show in early May, two days before the crucial Indiana and North Carolina primaries. Russert grilled him relentlessly about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, spending, it seemed, the first half-hour pressing for answers regarding the controversial clergyman. I was mildly offended, a bit angry that the candidate I support with great enthusiasm was being subjected to this rigorous interrogation. But I soon realized that nothing could have been more timely and effective at clearing the air, blowing away the smoke generated by what I saw as unwarranted attacks on the senator's character and judgement. He had been cleansed of the mud thrown at him by partisan smearmongers. He had passed the Russert Test; no one could say he hadn't answered the tough questions. In fact, I was quite proud of the calm, patient, understanding demeanor Obama exhibited during the process.
I feel a sense of loss today, one I know I share with many others. And I expect I'll continue to feel that loss for a some time, every Sunday morning when the values I support with such passion — truth, fairness, decency, integrity — no longer have the champion Tim Russert was for their advancement, there in the trenches, fighting for what is best about America.